Intestinal angiodysplasia and aortic valve stenosis: let's not close the book on this association

Mishra, Pankaj Kumar; Kovac, Jan; de Caestecker, John; Fancourt, Graham; Logtens, Elaine; Spyt, Tom
April 2009
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Apr2009, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p628
Academic Journal
Summary: The association between gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding due to angiodysplasia of the large intestine and calcific aortic stenosis (AS) has been a matter of debate. Recent studies suggest that this association is related to subtle alterations in plasma coagulation factors. von Willebrand factor is the strongest possible link between aortic stenosis and bleeding associated with GI angiodysplasia. Physicians should be aware of this entity when dealing with elderly patients presenting either with GI bleeding or with AS. A high index of suspicion and appropriate diagnostic procedures followed by prompt treatment could be life saving. Several questions related to the pathogenesis and optimal management remain unanswered. Aortic valve replacement appears to offer the best hope of long-term resolution of the bleeding, and should be considered in most cases. The association between chronic gastrointestinal bleeding in elderly patients and aortic stenosis becomes more relevant with the advent of transcatheter aortic valve implantation which can be offered even to elderly patients with comorbidities which could make conventional surgery impossible.


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